Boris Johnson claims Ukraine needs warplanes to fight Russian invasion
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Russia’s semi-permanent tactical formations have often proved insufficient in the Ukraine war and are now likely not being deployed on the warfront, the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) says.
“Over the last three months, Russian forces in Ukraine have likely largely stopped deploying as Battalion Tactical Groups (BTGs),” the MoD said in its latest intelligence update.
BTGs are task-based motorised rifle or tank battalion-plus-sized combat units prepared to perform semi-independent combined arms combat missions and are comparatively smaller than most other military units. The MoD said they had played a “major part” in Russia’s military doctrine over the past decade.
In another blow to Vladimir Putin’s invasion, an open-source tally, which echoes the findings of other independent investigations, reveals that Russia has lost more than 1,500 military officers – including nearly 160 generals and colonels – since it first waged war on Ukraine in February.
But Moscow has remained tight-lipped on the scale of millitary losses in Ukraine, with the most recent official figure of 5,397 – given in September by defence minister Sergei Shoigu – sitting significantly lower than Western estimates.
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Emily Atkinson29 November 2022 08:00
Ukraine’s first lady to urge UK to remember ‘tragedy’ of war over Christmas
Ukrainian first lady Olena Zelenska is set to urge Britons not to forgot the war in Ukraine this Christmas as the country braces for a brutal, cold and dark festive season.
Ms Zelenska is also expected to address MPs and peers on Tuesday as she visits London, days after Rishi Sunak made his first visit as prime minister to Kyiv to meet president Volodymyr Zelensky.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Ms Zelenska will urge the British public not to forget the “tragedy” of the Russian invasion amid the festive season.
She told the programme: “We feel that [strong support] by the aid for our forcefully displaced people, by the political and financial assistance and by humanitarian aid we are receiving from the British.
“Ukrainians are very tired of this war, but we have no choice in the matter. We are fighting for our very lives. The British public do have a choice. They can get used to our tragedy, concentrate on their own important things in life.
“My message for the British is as follows: It’s not just a war for our freedom and our lives.
“This is the war of opposing world views, the war for the values. It’s important that these are preserved. This is a fight for the truth and human values.”
“We do hope that the approaching season of Christmas doesn’t make you forget about our tragedy and get used to our suffering.”
The full interview is set to broadcast later on Tuesday morning.
Emily Atkinson29 November 2022 07:37
Russia’s Battalion Tactical Groups proved to be insufficient in Ukraine war – MoD
Russia’s semi-permanent Battalion Tactical Groups (BTG) taskforces have often proved insufficient in the Ukraine war and are now likely not being deployed on the warfront, the British defence ministry said today.
“Over the last three months, Russian forces in Ukraine have likely largely stopped deploying as Battalion Tactical Groups (BTGs),” it said in the latest intelligence update.
The BTGs are task-based motorised rifle or tank battalion-plus-sized combat units prepared to perform semi-independent combined arms combat missions and are comparatively smaller than most other military units.
The defence ministry has pointed out that the BTG concept has “played a major part in Russian military doctrine for the last ten years, and saw battalions integrated with a full range of supporting sub-units, including armour, reconnaissance and (in a departure from usual Western practice) artillery.”
“Several intrinsic weaknesses of the BTG concept have been exposed in the high intensity, large-scale combat of the Ukraine war so far. BTGs’ relatively small allocation of combat infantry has often proved insufficient,” it said.
The ministry added that the decentralised distribution of artillery by Russian forces has not allowed the invading country to “fully leverage its advantage in numbers of guns; and few BTG commanders have been empowered to flexibly exploit opportunities in the way the BTG model was designed to promote.”
Arpan Rai29 November 2022 07:10
Ukraine’s first lady visits Downing Street during London trip
Ms Murty greeted Ms Zelenska outside No 10 Downing Street, part of an itinerary for the wife of Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky‘s visit to the UK.
The Ukrainian first lady is expected to address MPs and peers today as part of her visit.
Ms Zelenska is in London to participate in an international conference on preventing sexual violence during conflicts.
Ms Zelenska briefly waved and smiled to the assorted cameras in Downing Street as she arrived on an overcast and rainy Monday afternoon in Westminster.
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Arpan Rai29 November 2022 06:44
Heavy shelling continues in Donetsk
Russian forces have continued heavily shelling towns on the west bank of the Dnipro River, including Kherson, a top Ukrainian military official said last night.
Russia kept up heavy shelling of key targets Bakhmut and Avdiivka in Donetsk province, and to the north bombarded areas around the towns of Kupiansk and Lyman, both recaptured recently by Ukrainians troops, the Ukrainian military said.
Ukrainian forces had damaged a rail bridge north of the Russian-occupied southern city of Melitopol that has been key to supplying Russian forces dug in there.
This was confirmed by Volodymyr Zelensky last night who said that incessant shelling of Kherson has continued.
“That day, as every other day, the occupiers again shelled Kherson and the communities of the region. In just one week, the enemy fired 258 times on 30 settlements of our Kherson region,” he said in his nightly address, and added that the Russian army also damaged the pumping station that supplied water to Mykolaiv.
“Well, what can be said about them? This is the real essence of those random “comrades” who took over Russia. After 20 years of rule, a large part of their own state is in such devastation, as if a war had taken place there. And this is not a war – it’s just because they have come,” Mr Zelensky said.
Arpan Rai29 November 2022 06:40
Russia postpones arms control talks without explanation, US claims
Moscow has abruptly and without explanation postponed the scheduled resumption of arms control talks this week, the Biden administration said today.
The State Department said Russia had “unilaterally postponed” a meeting of the Bilateral Consultative Commission that was scheduled to begin Tuesday in Egypt and last through next week.
It said Russia had promised to propose new dates but had offered no reason for the delay.
“The United States is ready to reschedule at the earliest possible date as resuming inspections is a priority for sustaining the treaty as an instrument of stability,” the department said.
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Arpan Rai29 November 2022 05:59
Ukraine downs Russian fighter jet, aircraft – officials
Ukrainian forces have downed one Russian Su-25 fighter jet and one Su-24 aircraft over past day, the general staff of Ukraine’s armed forces said today.
It added that the Ukrainian military struck three Russian concentrations of military equipment and personnel.
Several Russian attacks have been countered near Novoselivske and Bilohorivka in Luhansk oblast and Serebrianka, Verkhnokamianske, Bilohorivka, Yakovlivka, Pervomaiske, Opytne, Nevelske, and Krasnohorivka in Donetsk oblast, the general staff said.
Arpan Rai29 November 2022 05:37
Putin’s forces may leave occupied plant, says Ukraine nuclear boss
There are signs that Russian forces may be preparing to leave the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in the coming days, the head of Ukraine’s nuclear energy company has said.
Petro Kotin, head of Energoatom, said on national television that in recent weeks the agency has been “effectively receiving information that signs have appeared that they are possibly preparing to leave the (plant)”.
“Firstly, there are a very large number of reports in Russian media that it would be worth vacating the (plant) and maybe worth handing control (of it) to the (International Atomic Energy Agency – IAEA),” Mr Kotin said, referring to the United Nations nuclear watchdog.
“One gets the impression they’re packing their bags and stealing everything they can.”
Moscow seized the key power plant in southern Ukraine in March, shortly after Vladimir Putin launched his invasion.
Authorities installed by Moscow in the nearby city of Enerhodar quickly rejected the claim by the Ukrainian official, stating that the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant remains under Russian control.
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Arpan Rai29 November 2022 05:12
More than 17,000 civilian casualties in Ukraine war – UN
The Russian war against Ukraine has killed at least 6,655 civilians and injured 10,368, the UN says in its latest update.
The deaths include 2,601 men, 1,783 women, 173 girls, and 209 boys, as well as 37 children and 1,852 adults whose sex is as yet unknown, the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said.
There have been 7,350 casualties – 3,502 and 3,848 injured – in the area controlled by the Ukrainian government, the UN officials said, citing the latest figures.
The Donetsk and Luhansk regions alone have recorded 9,352 civilian casualties – 3,962 killed and 5,390 injured, they said.
“Most of the civilian casualties recorded were caused by the use of explosive weapons with wide area effects, including shelling from heavy artillery, multiple launch rocket systems, missiles and air strikes,” they said.
The actual figures are considerably higher, as the receipt of information from some locations where intense hostilities have been going on has been delayed and many reports are still pending corroboration, the OHCHR said.
These include Mariupol (Donetsk region), Izium (Kharkiv region), Lysychansk, Popasna, and Sievierodonetsk (Luhansk region), where there are allegations of numerous civilian casualties.
Arpan Rai29 November 2022 04:50
Putin ‘has lost nearly 160 generals and colonels among 1,500 officers’ since Russia invaded Ukraine
Vladimir Putin has lost more than 1,500 military officers – including nearly 160 generals and colonels – after Moscow invaded Ukraine in February this year, an open-source tally stated, matching the findings of other independent investigations.
According to one such tally, compiled by a Twitter account with the handle KilledInUkraine, which frequently includes links to Russian articles and social media posts corroborating the Russian casualties added to its public list, Moscow has now lost more than 1,500 officers.
The list of alleged Russian losses, cited on Monday by Ukrainian colonel Anatoly ‘Stirlitz’ Stefan, includes more than 150 colonels and lieutenant colonels, 205 majors, 296 captains and nearly 500 senior lieutenants – in descending order of rank.
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Arpan Rai29 November 2022 04:39